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Music is a major strength of Tring School and the standard of music both in curriculum time and in our flourishing extra-curricular programme is a great source of pride. Music plays a central part in the life of the school and every pupil is encouraged to take part. At all Key Stages, we aspire for our pupils to become creative, self-confident individuals, with a passion for Music of all genres.

Tring School Music Department is warm and vibrant and aims to create a learning environment that is enjoyable, inspirational and engaging. We pride ourselves on our student leadership in Music and many extra curricular groups are assisted by Sixth Former students with a passion for encouraging younger students to access music at all levels. As a department, we aspire to deliver a curriculum that not only fosters all our students’ musical and intellectual curiosity, but also provides every child with the opportunity to become an active member of a musical world.

Celebrating Success: academic and instrumental lessons.

We pride ourselves on our Music results and in 2021, our A Level students achieved 100% A*- B grades.  Likewise in 2022, our GCSE pupils achieved 81% 4 or above, with 29% achieving 8-9 grades with particularly high marks in composition and performance. Many of our students choose to study Music at University and many of our past pupils still enjoy performing and teaching. Instrumental lessons take place every day in the department and are taught by a specialist team including teachers from Hertfordshire Music Service. These are offered on a rotation basis and we encourage pupils to perform in recital concerts and we are always celebrating exam successes for pupils taking both Trinity and ABRSM exams.


To keep up with all our events and celebrations please follow our Instagram page (tringschmusic) or Twitter account @TringSchMusic

Key Stage 3

All students study a broad range of styles which incorporates composing, performing, listening and appraising skills. They take part in both group and paired activities and are assessed on their practical projects as well as on appraisal skills.

Year 7

Students are introduced to the basic elements of music through a variety of topics. Students start by studying melody both through singing and learning to play melodies on the keyboard. Building on this, students learn about harmony and create a group performance using chords on piano, ukulele or guitar to support the melody. From there, pupils learn about rhythm with an introduction to rhythmic notation and values which they then will implement in creating their own polyrhythmic pieces. The combination of melody, harmony and rhythm comes together in group performances of ‘Three Little Birds’ which is also one of the ways students are able to explore music from a variety of different cultures. Students learn the basics of music technology through midi software (Soundtrap) and music notation software ( which they use to explore notation,  instrumentation, and create their own compositions. Each of these topics are supported by appraisal (listening) assessments.  

Year 8

Students study music from a variety of cultures, including Indian music. Here, students learn about different instruments and sound worlds, and explore elements of both performance and group composition. Students learn how music can create mood in music from Film and TV, and complete an individual performance-based topic playing a theme from film music on the keyboard. This leads on to a topic on Musicals where students create a group performance of a piece from a Musical. Students explore dance music over time including waltz, disco, electronic dance music and bhangra, culminating in a dance music composition on soundtrap. Similarly, building on their music tech knowledge from year 7, students use ‘’ to explore notation and arrangement through ‘Pachelbel’s Canon’. Each of these topics are supported by appraisal (listening) assessments.

Year 9

In year 9 students build upon their previous keyboard skills and musical terminology through Video Game Music and are individually assessed on a performance. From this, students work on ‘Cover Songs’ in groups, aiming to re-create a section of a popular song and build their collaboration and ensemble skills. Pupils learn about different cultures and musical structures through the ‘Blues and Jazz’ module culminating in a group performance and including improvisation.  Pupils look at writing their own pieces of popular music influenced by the ‘independent learning’ approach adopted by Musical Futures, with the option to do this using musical software such as soundtrap or

In each year group students will also have access to the super-curriculum - optional tasks that we recommend that they complete in order to extend their knowledge of the subject.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

At GCSE we approach music with a strong emphasis on performing, both solo and ensemble, listening and composing. Pupils get the opportunity to work alone, in a class setting and in small groups. Pupils study 8 set works in four different areas of music and will answer questions on these as part of their listening exam, which is worth 40% of the GCSE. Pupils perform at regular intervals throughout the 2 year course on their chosen instrument, in preparation for a final solo and ensemble performance which contributes to 30% of the final grade. Pupils also submit two unique compositions, one free and one set brief, making up the final 30% of the GCSE.


The department provides numerous opportunities for students to participate in many different types of performances within school, in the local community and on tour.  A range of groups is on offer and students are actively encouraged to participate in these groups. There are currently five choirs; senior and junior, as well as a girls choir, male voice choir and a more selective chamber choir.  We have an Orchestra, and a Junior Orchestra, as well as a flourishing Swing band who regularly perform both in and out of school. We also have numerous smaller ensembles such as flute group, string group and guitar group. As well as this, there are multiple rock bands, and a pop and rock school where students are able to come together to learn to play in an ensemble. 

All these ensembles regularly perform at school concerts as well as numerous events across Tring and collaborative projects across Hertfordshire Schools. As well as this, we offer open mic nights to give students a chance to perform individually prepared solo or small group pieces. Please head to the Clubs & Extracurricular page of the website to see the full range of music sessions available to students.


Director of Music Mrs E McFadden (Née Hicks)
  Mrs J Chalmers
  Mrs R Georgiades - Deputy Headteacher
Performing Arts Technician Miss M Storey


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